I'm determined to legitimize chocolate as a bona fide health food — and a new study involving more than 100,000 people is helping my cause!
Researchers from the University of Cambridge analyzed 7 studies on chocolate and heart health, involving more than 114,000 people. Compared to those who ate the least chocolate, those who ate the most had a 37% reduced rate of any type of cardiovascular disease (angina, heart attack, heart failure) and a 29% reduced risk of stroke. The chocolate lovers also had a 50% lower risk of dying from heart disease, and a 35% lower risk of developing diabetes.
To put that finding in perspective, the cholesterol-lowering drug statin is linked to a 1.2% lower risk of having a heart attack. That means chocolate is 30 times more powerful than statins in protecting your heart! (Not to mention a whole lot tastier!)
The study looked at chocolate in any form — dark, milk, or white; chocolate bars, chocolate drinks, and chocolate snacks. But I recommend looking for a dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa, which is a factor in chocolate that protects the heart. A treat with 85% cocoa is optimal, but 75% or so is still very good. Sugar-free chocolate is the best, and Russell Stover has a great line that's easy to find. For a real treat, check out the sugar-free chocolate line at Abdullahs online.
But remember: chocolate is not a low-calorie sweet. A little goes a long way. Eat a bite or two of your favorite chocolate, letting it melt in your mouth.
"It's official — chocolate linked to heart health," EurekAlert.org. August 29,2011
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.